Man gets a few things off his chest before dying

Val Patterson, who died of throat cancer on July 10 (“my regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me”), confessed a few things just before passing at age 59:

Val Patterson and wife Mary Jane

* “As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest.”

* “Also, I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan at the U of U, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later, a PhD diploma came in the mail. I didn’t even graduate, I only had about 3 years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters ‘PhD’ even stood for.”

He also left this message for amusement park folks: “To Disneyland — you can now throw away that “Banned for Life” file you have on me, I’m not a problem anymore – and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this.”

Patterson ends his essay this way:

If you knew me or not, dear reader, I am happy you got this far into my letter. I speak as a person who had a great life to look back on. My family is following my wishes that I not have a funeral or burial. If you knew me, remember me in your own way. If you want to live forever, then don’t stop breathing, like I did.

* Read Val Patterson’s final words (

* The story behind “the most bad-ass obit ever” (
* Betrayal, heartbreak and a 94-year-old woman’s obit (